The axisymmetric structure of the inner-core hurricane boundary layer (BL) during intensification [IN; intensity tendency ≥20 kt (24 h)−1, where 1 kt ≈ 0.5144 m s−1], weakening [WE; intensity tendency <−10 kt (24 h)−1], and steady-state [SS; the remainder] periods are analyzed using composites of GPS dropwindsondes from reconnaissance missions between 1998 and 2015. A total of 3091 dropsondes were composited for analysis below 2.5-km elevation—1086 during IN, 1042 during WE, and 963 during SS. In nonintensifying hurricanes, the low-level tangential wind is greater outside the radius of maximum wind (RMW) than for intensifying hurricanes, implying higher inertial stability (I2) at those radii for nonintensifying hurricanes. Differences in tangential wind structure (and I2) between the groups also imply differences in secondary circulation. The IN radial inflow layer is of nearly equal or greater thickness than nonintensifying groups, and all groups show an inflow maximum just outside the RMW. Nonintensifying hurricanes have stronger inflow outside the eyewall region, likely associated with frictionally forced ascent out of the BL and enhanced subsidence into the BL at radii outside the RMW. Equivalent potential temperatures (θe) and conditional stability are highest inside the RMW of nonintensifying storms, which is potentially related to TC intensity. At greater radii, inflow layer θe is lowest in WE hurricanes, suggesting greater subsidence or more convective downdrafts at those radii compared to IN and SS hurricanes. Comparisons of prior observational and theoretical studies are highlighted, especially those relating BL structure to large-scale vortex structure, convection, and intensity.
The formation of a plausible secondary eyewall is examined with two principal simulation experiments that differ only in the fixed value of rain fall speed, one with a value of 70 m s−1(approaching the pseudo-adiabatic limit) that simulates a secondary eyewall, and one with a value of 7 m s−1that does not simulate a secondary eyewall. Key differences are sought between these idealized three-dimensional simulations. A notable expansion of the lower-tropospheric tangential wind field to approximately 400-km radius is found associated with the precursor period of the secondary eyewall. The wind field expansion is traced to an enhanced vertical mass flux across the 5.25-km height level, which leads, in turn, to enhanced radial inflow in the lower troposphere and above the boundary layer. The inflow spins up the tangential wind outside the primary eyewall via the conventional spinup mechanism. This amplified tangential wind field is linked to a broad region of outwardly directed agradient force in the upper boundary layer. Whereas scattered convection is found outside the primary eyewall in both simulations, the agradient force is shown to promote a ring-like organization of this convection when boundary layer convergence occurs in a persistent, localized region of supergradient winds. The results support prior work highlighting a new model of secondary eyewall formation emphasizing a boundary layer control pathway for initiating the outer eyewall as part of the rotating convection paradigm of tropical cyclone evolution.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- American Meteorological Society
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
- Medium: X Size: p. 745-762
- ["p. 745-762"]
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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